Individuals who are skilled with their hands good at following instructions and who enjoy working with tools and machinery to shape various wood products might find a fulfilling career in cabinetmaking. Cabinet makers must be able to read blueprints and drawings of cabinet designs and be able to use various types of woodworking machines and other hand held tools to build the cabinets.
However traditional cabinets are not the only items that cabinetmakers can construct. Most cabinetmakers are skilled at building tables all types of furniture shelves desks bookcases and chairs. Assembling all of these items usually involves cutting shaping and putting together wooden parts as well as installing hardware such as hinges and drawer pulls. A final stage may be staining varnishing or painting assembled articles.
In addition to a considerable amount of time spent sizing and measuring cabinetmakers must be able to stand for prolonged periods of time and be capable of heavy lifting. Cabinetmakers graduate from a standard or vocational high schools and then learn their trade with on-the-job training. Most serve in apprenticeship programs for at least two years to hone their skills.
In recent years the use of computer technology has been on the rise so employers are starting to favor individuals who have experience using computer aided design (CAD). The rise in the use of computer design has meant fewer job opportunities for traditional cabinetmakers with handcrafting skills.
Cabinetmakers are employed by hardware stores furniture and upholstery shops lumber dealers and construction companies but a small proportion are self-employed. The median pay for this profession is between $10 and $11 per hour.